The output gauge increased to 58.8 from a preliminary 58.2 and 57.3 in February. The gauge for employment growth rose to 53.8 from a preliminary 53.7 and 52.8 in February.
March data pointed to a positive month for U.S. manufacturing business conditions, with momentum building again after a slowdown at the turn of the year. This was highlighted by stronger rates of output and new business growth, alongside sustained job creation during the latest survey period. New export sales remained a source of weakness in March, partly reflecting the stronger exchange rate. Meanwhile, input costs decreased for the third month running, which led to the weakest rise in factory gate charges since May 2014.